President's Message: It's a Matter of Perspective

Posted by Kenyon Gleason on 11/13/20 12:20 PM


Over the past few weeks, I’ve been taking a very deep dive into all things aviation, as I’m working toward a life-long dream of getting my private pilot license. When I say deep dive, of course, I mean studying things in ground school. Fortunately, there have been no deep dives in my actual piloting (I’m going to make sure it stays that way too).

For anyone who flies a lot, whether commercial or on a private airplane, you know all too well that your perspective on things is considerably different when up in the air. You see things from a much bigger and broader perspective.
You get such an amazing view of the landscape below. You see things you simply cannot see on the ground. The terrain takes on a different shape and feel as well. The cities and towns, lakes and other landmarks seem not so big at all, yet the land around them stretches forever and ever.

When it’s time to come back down to the ground, I’ve learned something. I’ve seen something different. I’ve been made aware of things I didn’t know before. It’s actually kind of invigorating.

As we’ve been going through the year 2020, we’ve been faced with some things no one could ever have predicted. And after the election, there are a lot of people upset and concerned about the future of our country, and specifically, the future of our shooting sports industry.

To a certain extent, I agree and share in many of those concerns. And I understand why people have reservations about what’s happening in our political arena or, for that matter, what’s happening on our streets. It’s disconcerting, to say the least.

Just last week, I was up in the air at the crack of daylight and got to witness one of the prettiest sunrises I’ve seen in a while. I’ve never before seen such a thing from the cockpit of a small airplane. It shook me just a bit to think about just how small and insignificant I was in that moment. I was like a speck of dust floating in an otherwise endless panorama.

I may be stretching the analogy just a bit, but that's how I feel about the situation we find ourselves in right now in our country. We are hypersensitive to everything because we are so close to it. It impacts us in ways “on the ground” that can certainly be profound or even life-changing. These daily and sometimes hourly concerns, challenges, potholes and pitfalls, tend to throw us off track. They keep us far too focused on our immediate vicinity as we’re so busy trying to avoid them.

But if you look at all of this, well, “stuff,” through a bigger lens, from a higher perch, it’s not hard to imagine that this too is really just a blip in time, just a tiny dot on a vast continuum. In the end, no matter what happens with the election's final results, we need to keep it all in the proper perspective. We will go on. We will continue to fight for our rights and our beliefs. We will continue to do what’s right.

It’s not like we haven’t had challenges in the past. We’ve had tons of them. Yet here we are. And it’s not like we won’t have challenges in the future. We just have this one right here, today. So let’s make our way through it, around it, over or under it. Whatever it takes.

I can’t think of any group of people I’d rather do that with than the shooting sports industry. It’s a good reminder of how blessed we are to work in and on behalf of this industry... together.

Until next time,

Kenyon Gleason
NASGW President

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